European Jewish Congress
Cheesecake, amaretto or goat cheese and onion jam?
Life in Israel
Cheesecake, amaretto or goat cheese and onion jam?

Those were just some of the new hamantaschen options this year on offer at a bakery in Tel Aviv, one of dozens around the country, which was bustling in advance of the Purim holiday, which started on Saturday evening.

“The public trusts us to expose them to new flavours,” said the owner of Roladin, Itzik Shamsian.

In recent years, Israeli bakeries have increasingly offered gourmet versions of the three-cornered pastry — including marzipan or gluten-free varieties — alongside the classics, like poppyseed. The change reflects the growing sophistication of Israel’s culinary scene, which is focused on updating traditional dishes and fusing them with cuisines from around the world.

Purim — which commemorates the Jews’ deliverance from Haman, an evil adviser to an ancient Persian king — is a festive holiday for both religious and secular Jews in Israel. It is characterized by costumes and parties, including in the streets of some cities.

But perhaps the most iconic symbol of the holiday are hamantaschen— called oznay haman, or “Haman’s ears,” in Hebrew. In the weeks before Purim, they pop up in bakeries, cafes and kitchens around the country, and the treats are included in the mishloach manot, or Purim gift baskets, Israelis traditionally exchange for the holiday.

Ashkenazi Jews, about half of Israel’s Jewish population, have been making hamantaschen on Purim for generations, and little has fundamentally changed. A piece of dough is folded into a triangle around a sweet filling and baked. In Israel, the classics are poppyseed, chocolate and date, with jam not nearly as common as in the United States or Europe.

Like its population, Israel’s food is a mishmash of global influences, from Poland to Morocco. Until recently, cooking mostly took place in the home. But in the past decade or so, food has gone public, with an explosion of dining options in Tel Aviv and other cities. Cooking shows, like Israel’s version of “MasterChef,” which celebrate and refine Israel’s diverse culinary heritage, have shattered viewing records and made household names out of celebrity chefs like Eyal Shani and Haim Cohen.

Shamsian, the Roladin manager, however acknowledged that the most popular flavours at his branch remain poppyseed, chocolate and date.

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel

Friday, March 17, 2017
More News
In Israel, ultra-Orthodox women emerge as high-tech entrepreneurs
While Silicon Valley is just beginning to confront decades of sexism and discrimination, female founders in Israel’s ultra-Orthodox community say their segregated gender roles have an unintended benefit -- encouraging growing ranks of women entrepreneurs.
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Life in Israel
  • Massive section of Western Wall and Roman theatre uncovered after 1,700 years
    Archaeologists are one step closer to solving the riddle of what took place in Jerusalem following the destruction of the city by Romans in 70 CE.

    On Friday, October 20, 2017 Massive section of Western Wall and Roman theatre uncovered after 1,700 years
  • Israel targets fashion industry over underweight models
    Israeli lawmakers want to tighten a ban on the employment of underweight models and on the undeclared digital slimming-down of fashion images, amid concern that the measures are being routinely flouted even as they are adopted abroad.

    On Friday, October 20, 2017 Israel targets fashion industry over underweight models
  • Work on Israel-Cyprus-Greece electricity link to start in 2018
    A Cypriot official said work on an electric cable linking the power grids of Israel, Cyprus and Greece is on track to start in the first quarter of 2018 after Greek and Cypriot regulators approved the project.

    On Friday, October 20, 2017 Work on Israel-Cyprus-Greece electricity link to start in 2018
  • In Israel, ultra-Orthodox women emerge as high-tech entrepreneurs
    While Silicon Valley is just beginning to confront decades of sexism and discrimination, female founders in Israel’s ultra-Orthodox community say their segregated gender roles have an unintended benefit -- encouraging growing ranks of women entrepreneurs.

    On Friday, October 20, 2017 In Israel, ultra-Orthodox women emerge as high-tech entrepreneurs
  • First fully disabled-accessible synagogue opened in Jerusalem
    Construction of the first fully disabled-accessible synagogue in Jerusalem is about to be finished, giving disabled worshipers easy access to the compound, with comfortable seating arrangements for wheelchair-bound visitors, Braille bibles and more.

    On Wednesday, October 11, 2017 First fully disabled-accessible synagogue opened in Jerusalem
  • Survey: 60 percent of Arab Israelis have a positive view of the state
    A poll of Israeli Arabs has found that sixty percent surveyed said they had a favourable view of the state, while 37% said their view was unfavourable.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 Survey: 60 percent of Arab Israelis have a positive view of the state
  • Israel's trade with Russia leaps by 25 percent
    Trade between Israel and Russia has grown this year by 25 percent, officials from both countries revealed, amid complications with other Russian trading partners.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 Israel's trade with Russia leaps by 25 percent
  • Israel aims to double the number of people working in hi-tech
    The Israel Innovation Authority aims to double the number of high-tech workers in the country over the next decade, while encouraging companies in older industry to use more technology and become more innovative, the authority said in its annual report released on Sunday.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 Israel aims to double the number of people working in hi-tech
  • 20,000 Gazan lulavs arrive in Israel
    A shipment of 20,000 date palm fronds were transported on Monday from the Gaza Strip to Israel where they were to be sold for use in a traditional Jewish religious ritual during the coming Sukkot holiday, the Defence Ministry said.

    On Wednesday, October 04, 2017 20,000 Gazan lulavs arrive in Israel
  • Israeli intelligence helped to thwart dozens of terror attacks around the world
    The Israeli intelligence community has shared information with other countries over the past two years that has helped thwart dozens of terror attacks about to be perpetrated by Islamists who were in contact with members of Islamic State and Middle Eastern factions identified with Al-Qaida.

    On Thursday, September 28, 2017 Israeli intelligence helped to thwart dozens of terror attacks around the world
President's Page Security and Crisis Centre by EJC European Parliament Working Group On Antisemitism